PAFCAF's Mid Level Manager's Institute

The Palmetto Association for Children and Families is thrilled to begin highlighting different members from our Mid Level Managers Institute (MLM). MLM was created, in partnership with the Nord Family Foundation, to provide education, support, and leadership that will strengthen the capacity of our member agencies to produce positive outcomes for children and their families.

Participants attend face-to-face meetings every other month in Columbia, attend conference calls during months without meetings; attend our annual leadership retreat in Charleston in June, and complete required reading and ancillary research.


 Tara Burgess, a member of the Institute, currently serves as the Associate Director of Finance & Grants for the Children’s Attention Home. She finds being able to ensure her agency is a good steward of financial resources as well as secure funding for staff positions and program expenses the most inspiring part of her job.

Tara has been volunteering with children for the past decade, leading her to see the need for help in her community. A few years ago, when she saw a position available at the Children's Attention Home, she was thrilled to take the opportunity to further help those in need.

Through her job, Tara is able to use her time and talents to make a difference in her community which continues to motivate her every day.

“The PAFCAF Mid-Level Manager Institute has proven to be a wonderful opportunity to learn from both past and present nonprofit leaders while developing supportive relationships with future principals. I am honored to be a part of the inaugural class, and I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills I have learned to improve the lives of others.”


One of our institute members is Rena Creech, who is the regional manager of Lutheran Services Carolinas. She first became involved with child welfare when she was in high school, where she befriended and mentored a student who was in therapeutic foster care. Through hearing her friend’s story and talking with her foster and birth family, it created a passion for her to want to one day work with vulnerable children and families. Rena became a foster parent when she was 24 and has since fostered, adopted, and been an advocate for birth families. She says the most inspiring part of her job is the success of the foster, adoptive and biological families they serve. She is motivated every day by her faith, family, and community.